NBA

It wasn't a one-man effort – Embiid praises 76ers team-mates after 50-point haul

By Sports Desk February 19, 2021

Joel Embiid credited his team-mates after his incredible performance in the Philadelphia 76ers' win over the Chicago Bulls.

Embiid posted a career-high 50 points, to go with 17 rebounds and five assists, in the 76ers' 112-105 victory in the NBA on Friday.

But the All-Star paid tribute to his team-mates after the 76ers improved to 20-10.

"We did it as a team. It wasn't a one-man effort, we all worked together," Embiid told ESPN.

"My team-mates found me, I found them, we shared the ball, we moved the ball and we actually played better defense than we've been playing the past couple of games which makes me happy. It starts on defense and I'm pretty happy about what we did on that end."

Embiid added: "That's my job, that's why they pay me, defensively just being the best defensive player of the year because you know my aspirations are to win that defensive player of the year.

"Offensively doing whatever I'm needed to, if I need to get them open that's what I'm going to do, if I need to score that's what I'm going to do, if I need to set screens that's what's I'm going to do, so we did it as a team."

After back-to-back wins, the 76ers are top of the Eastern Conference.

Related items

  • Bucks forward Middleton happy to be back after first match since April Bucks forward Middleton happy to be back after first match since April

    Khris Middleton was happy to get minutes under his belt despite defeat after he played his first game since April for the Milwaukee Bucks against the Los Angeles Lakers.

    A rampant pair of performances from Anthony Davis and LeBron James – who scored 44 points and passed Magic Johnson on the all-time NBA assists list respectively – saw the visitors downed 133-129.

    But even with the loss, it marked a major landmark for the Bucks as they welcomed back forward Middleton to their line-up, having seen him sidelined since April's playoffs.

    With 17 points and seven assists, the 31-year-old kept himself busy throughout, and expressed his delight at getting back on the floor with the rest of his team-mates.

    "It felt really good to be back out there with the guys competing, playing," he said. "[I've got] a range of emotions.

    "[I've] been through a lot these last couple months - happy, sad, anxious, nervous. To finally get out there and play and get a lot of those nerves past me, it felt pretty good."

    The Bucks head to the Charlotte Hornets as part of a back-to-back on Saturday, but head coach Mike Budenholzer suggested Middleton will not be played again so quickly in succession.

    "To have Khris back is huge for us," he added. "[It is] pretty impressive how seamlessly he got back into the game, [at] both ends of the court.

    "We talk a lot about how Khris, he's just a basketball player. He's a smart player [who] just understands the game. [He is] not overly reliant on athleticism or things like that.

    "For him to come back and be able to catch a good rhythm – he's got to keep working but a big step for us tonight to get Khris Middleton back."

  • Warren comeback 'felt like a dream' as Nets forward ends two-year injury layoff Warren comeback 'felt like a dream' as Nets forward ends two-year injury layoff

    T.J. Warren ended a two-year exodus from the court after making his Brooklyn Nets debut in Friday's 114-105 win over the Toronto Raptors.

    The small forward, who last played on December 29, 2020 with the Indiana Pacers, has been out since with a succession of surgeries for a left foot injury.

    With Kyrie Irving's 27-point haul leading the hosts to victory at Barclays Center, Warren scored 10 and posted four rebounds over a 17-minute spell off the bench.

    To finally get back on the floor, however, was the big success of the night for the 29-year-old, who was delighted to put his injury nightmare behind him.

    "It almost felt like a dream," he said. "As soon as I checked in, it kind of hit me like, 'Wow, this is real.' Once I got up and down it was just like, 'All right, this is basketball.'.

    "It was just super fun to be out there and compete with the guys."

    Team-mate Kevin Durant was also happy to see Warren, who signed with the Nets in July, tick off a major milestone on his road back to the top of the professional game.

    "He's a poised guy," he added. "He showed that he belongs out here. It felt like he didn't really miss too much of a [beat]. Two years he missed? It didn't feel like that.

    "But we still got to be patient with him. We still understand that he had tough injuries, and he spent a lot of time away from the game, but he looked great to me."

    The Nets will next face the Boston Celtics on Sunday, as they look to strengthen their hand in the Eastern Conference in the run-up to Christmas.

  • LeBron James reflects on 'humbling' accomplishment as he passes Magic Johnson in assists LeBron James reflects on 'humbling' accomplishment as he passes Magic Johnson in assists

    LeBron James moved up to sixth on the all-time assist leaderboard as he dished 11 in the Los Angeles Lakers' impressive 133-129 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

    James also had 28 points on 12-of-27 shooting, eight rebounds and two steals to go with his assists, and he was supported in spectacular fashion by Anthony Davis.

    Davis had a season-high 44 points (18-of-27 shooting), 10 rebounds and three blocks, in what was his third-most points in a Lakers uniform, and the most since January 2020.

    With James' ninth assist of the game – the 10,142nd of his career – he passed fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson on the all-time list, now trailing only Mark Jackson (10,334), Steve Nash (10,335), Chris Paul (11,071), Jason Kidd (12,091) and John Stockton (15,806).

    Speaking after the contest, James made sure to convey his respect for Johnson and his impact on the game.

    "It means a lot, obviously," he said. "The way Magic approached the game, it was very infectious. 

    "His teammates loved playing with him because of the joy he played with, and the ability to pass the ball and get other guys involved. He was always excited about seeing his teammates be great. I always admired that in him.

    "What’s even more humbling and super-duper cool is the fact that I’m doing it in a Laker uniform, and knowing how much Magic means to the Laker franchise."

    Earlier in the week in an interview with ESPN, James reflected on the legacy he hopes to leave behind.

    "To know that I'm in the conversation, or about to get to a point that I'm breaking a record that he set for this franchise – and I'm not comparing myself to Magic with this franchise, what he did, sheesh," he said.

    "Him, [James] Worthy, Kobe [Bryant], Shaq [O'Neal], those guys are synonymous with this franchise. But it's just pretty cool, always, when I'm able to see my name with some of the greats that have played this game.

    "Listen, when you talk about just one-name guys when you're talking about sports, you got Ali, Jordan, Magic, Bird. Those names are just synonymous with sports."

    Turning his attention back to the win against the Bucks, James said he felt this was the most connected this Lakers team has felt since the addition of Russell Westbrook.

    "I will say I feel like tonight is the most complementary, and the best game with all three of us on the floor together that we've played on both sides of the floor," he said.

    "We all felt in a rhythm. We all felt we were making impactful plays throughout the whole game."

    The victory was the Lakers' seventh from their past nine fixtures, reviving what was looking like being a lost season and inching closer to .500, now 9-12 – only two games behind the current Western Conference eighth seed, the Golden State Warriors.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.